Welcome to me! :)

thanks Noemi for your note and encouraging me to introduce myself.

I am a social development practitioner working in social performance management of large scale Infrastructure projects (public consultation, stakeholder engagement, social impact, human rights, …). I am at the moment trading my sleeping and fun hours (not all of them!) researching and reaching people to discuss on social innovation and ICT4D and find your collective intelligence application very interesting. However whilst I understand the concept, I don’t really understand how to use it yet. That is why am here. Deep believer in collaboration and knowledge sharing and even more excited and keen on collective knowledge/co-creation. Look forward to meet you all and see what we do when our brains link.



Difficult one

Hello @Lara__Martin, welcome. Difficult one: it starts, I guess, with people using tech in creative ways to do development work. About five minutes later this gets noticed, it become cool, then a buzzword, and the consultants move in and funding agencies follow. Soon, most of the discussion is seeing tech as a goal per se rather than an enabler, because, well, there is money to be made. And yet, below all that, there is a core of interesting people who get it, and do interesting stuff.

Too cynical?

I’d say too generalising

I am more inclined to think that good stuff needs to be spread and the more People or organisations involved, the merrier. Also I think that tose that do not ‘get it’ need help and exposure to start getting it for the general good. ‘Tech as a goal per se because there is money to be made’ I’d say this things cost money actually and people invest on them because of their potential to improve social wellbeing…

to naive? :wink:

Cynical +1

Hey Lara! Cool to have more new people here. I do agree with “the more (diversity) the merrier”, but I my experience has been that the “never paint yourself into a corner” and “don’t solve problems - manage them (forever)” are the dominant dynamics in many fields at least. And of course the more stuff you throw at a problem - which results in busy looking excel sheets for the next quarterly - the earlier you can put your feet back on the table. I am sure though you could give me a handful of cases where the dynamic IS different - and we’d probably find some middle ground (in no time, in real life). That is to say: no offense intended. :slight_smile:

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Community call tomorrow

You probably saw already that there’ll be a community call tomorrow - you’ll find it under the Agora-section I think.

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Welcoming or gatekeeping?

I slept over this chat and have contradicting feelings on what the intention behind all this is. Quite skeptical now I’d say. 

Looking like here there is something to prove to belong. This is what we call ‘derecho de piso’ in Argentina and I am not going to spend energy on proving myself too hard. In the tango dancing scene (think that expressions comes from there, and to give an example) I skept that ‘floor right’ by learning the male role, and did not let those gatekeepers let me and other ladies sitting in the corner for too long. If there is music in the background we all can dance…Also this seems a relatively abstract debate very keywordy and little practical. I may need more time to figure this out but first impression is that is not as open as it looks and that there is a lot of ego and showing how much we know behind our words rather that new stuff and creation. I kind of like confrontation though, and think it is necessary to build, and only when you care confront. Anyway just thought this might be the place to be open and that is what is in my head right now.

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Not sure I understand…

If “derecho de piso” means something like “rite of passage”, or finding your place in the pecking order under the “top dog” - I am really, really sorry to have contributed to that impression. That is something I am decidedly not fond of. I hope that will become clearer in community calls. Also we are from different places and many actors (institutions, companies, etc.) may have the same name but different roles in the system. Now I am not the expert, but my impression is that many places in South America “don’t fit” into the European or North American narrative in terms of how things work there.

Regarding the abstract debate: yep, you’re right there - but that’s mostly how it starts in my experience. Once people start bringing up concrete examples it tends to result in a lot of "oh!"s and "ah - okay"s and usually gets more productive as well.

Here’s a concrete example: When I had a master-thesis type project for a student that I would supervise - I did not look at the their grades even once. I talked to them for half an hour and watched them nod, or frown. Then I had them talk to me, listened and mostly gave answers only. Then we’d go to the lab, I showed them around, let them take notes, and eventually did something very simple like pouring a certain amount of chemical into a glass (still there is 1001 ways to do it better or worse). Then I let them do it, and let them reflect on that and the lab work they’d be required to do. That was it. And I tended to take the ones that made more mistakes. Most of the time they made the mistakes because they were nervous, which meant they really wanted the job. (there’s no abstract meaning between the lines here, it is only an example)

2 more things

  1. I am just a random person that happened to sign up just before you - what I say or feel is probably not more representative of this place than how you feel about things and express it. I comment a lot at the moment because I want to hear an echo (and perhaps provoke a little bit at the same time).

  2. In my opinion being skeptical is aaalways good. “Quite skeptical” is also good. Just don’t let first impressions put you off TOO much.

Just exchanging thoughts!

@Lara__Martin, just like @trythis I would like to apologize if I stepped out of line. There was absolutely no intention of being a gatekeeper from my side. In fact, I am a true believer of sorts in ICT as an enabler, because I believe the fundamental architecture of the Internet is conducive to a social architecture of decentralization, that gets things done. I even wrote a whole book about it a few years ago.

My scene (open gov-open data) was moderately successful, and managed to move from total marginality to closer to the center. But something got lost in the process, when our vocabulary was appropriated by people and orgs with a centralist agenda (large corps, tenured academics, governments), who were in it for the funding or the market share. This is not bad per se, but it becomes bad when bad projects run by unscrupulous people made scorched earth of our ideas (example: the 500 EUR blog posts were a blow to the credibility of online citizen participation, a concept dear to my heart that, I think, would need a few more years of underground, ultralow cost experimentation before the EC starts to fund 2 million EUR projects).

None of this says anything about ICT4D, but it does explain why I, sometimes, seem to slip into cynicism. I guess I was encouraging you to stay close to the kids, more than the established players. Again, apologies. I was out of line.

Hi and welcome

Nice to “meet” you Lara. At any given time there are a lot of different conversations and projects ongoing in the Edgeryders space. This platform is where we exchange first hand experiences, as for help and make sense of what our conversations are telling us about where it makes sense to invest time or effort to reach different goals.

I think the weekly community calls are really the best way to meet some of the people in the community and get a sense of how this really works. Sometimes people show up because they are working on something specific and want to ask for help or find people to collaborate with…sometimes people are stranded in a foreign city and need a place to sleep for the night and the call just focuses on getting that sorted. It’s always changing :slight_smile:

Joining is easy, you just add edgeryders to your list of contacts on skype and we add you into the call. They happen every thursday at 11:00 CEST.

Can’t make call but thanks!

Thanks Nadia and trythis- can’t make the call today at the end and then Will be traveling to Azerbaijan for 2 weeks so Will be in touch when i am back.

Looks like challenging field trip and am sure There will be good things to share and work on With You when i am back. 

Have a good call and catch up soon,Lara.

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If we can help…

Hey, catching up on my reading here! I really liked the analogy you made about tango and pairs… I tried taking lessons for 6 months, and like you, I had to step in and play the male part… That was VERY difficult and also interesting because it actually helps you dance better as a female, and learn about the other person’s intentions when leading. But you can’t tango in one anyway, and that I think is a valid point to get across in general. There’s no edge without the center etc.

I recently met someone very kind in Baku who had studied in the UK and is now back in the country, if you need their contact I can put you in touch… he;s a young business analyst, don’t know if that helps or not. Anyway, safe trip!

Nice links & lets tango!

@Alberto- thank you for your note and for explanation. I see where you are coming from now and totally agree with you. It is very upsetting how creative tools and softwares that could do the job are sometimes just not used at all. And this is because you can make money developing it yourself and selling it. No incentives to partner for the money makers uh! - I liked the link you shared of the 500eu post. It clearly shows what is happening in the traditional world of public consultation. Online platforms are misused and when used aren’t used ambitiously -just tick the box. Little research on what is out there…too much risk adverseness to try something new…long way to walk… Other problem i see is that those institutions / organisations are so hierarchical that only those with white hairs can make decisions. Ridiculous if compared with other sectors. Youngsters within those organisations can share, knock doors, push initiatives and make some noise but in most cases little happens. By the time the grey hairs come they will be too tired of pushing and probably just got used to the slow motion by then. - As for funding same people over and over this is related to risk adverseness again, practicality and lack of incentives. They have money to give but don’t really care about the outcome, just the ‘indicators’ That will go into the report and make a pretty chart matter. That is about picking quick and make sure money goes and indicators come back…as narrow minded as that…also annoying. Anyway…thanks for sharing. Will have a look at that paper

@Noemi it is good to hear you also dance tango! I had that experience of deciding to be a male/female tango dancer when I was 15 years old. With that philosophy I kept dancing both roles for all this years. This can be “la revancha del tango” as I can tell you I dance better as a male than many arrogant boys around there ;). I don’t go to often to milongas here but happy to do a tango night one day.

Re: Baku I think I will be mostly in rural areas and lots of work to do so don’t think will have much time. In any case, I can contact you friend and if time allows we could meet up. I could get his insights about my project…first time in Azerbaijan and need to understand everything pretty quickly!

All good

All good, Lara. The tango dancer is @Noemi, not Nadia, though. smiley

Fixed? :wink:

think managed to fix my mistake, thanks Alberto #LoveEditFunction :slight_smile: (Sorry ladies for mixing your names)